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Old 11-05-2016, 03:52   #1
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Choosing a boat

What boat to buy?

Greetings all,

This is my first post, so please forgive any indiscretions. Ive followed this forum for four months and its just occurred to me that some of you will have the answer to my dilemma of what boat to buy.


Having loved sailing as a teenager with my folks on an 8 m sloop in the Mozambique channel, I recently decided to get a boat and sail around the world on the trans ocean cruising routes for 3-5 years with my partner before I get too old. I am now a fit 65.


So the last 7 weeks have been spend on full time sailing training in Cape Town to get my South African license. This culminated with a windy jaunt around Cape Ahulhas and Cape Point in 55 knots last Friday night on a race boat delivery to get the last of the sea miles that I needed. Attention getting!


Initially I wanted a second hand Cat of around 40 foot, but with the devaluation of our currency that will be very expensive, so my thoughts have now also extended to monohulls which are more reasonably priced.


Never having owned a boat before I think that I will be reasonably easily satisfied with whatever I get as long as it has a few more conveniences than the race boats that I have spent the last 7 weeks on. (no teenagers, dry bunks and a fridge/freezer in particular). We have also just spent 7 months on a 4WD trip up Africa in an overland truck, so were not strangers to limited space and roughing it a bit.


As I see things the ads and disads of each type are:


Cats:


Have the room


Are faster than monohulls


Have shallow draught to enable one to enjoy shallow areas (How important is this aspect in the Pacific and Caribbean?)


Are stable at anchor and upright at sea


Are sufficiently seaworthy and any shortcomings can be mitigated by sailing away from nasty weather as they are faster and also having drogues/sea anchors on board will be added insurance.


Their disads include price, poor windward sailing ability, marina costs (although I would want to spend most of the time on the hook away from crowds), awkward motion in rough seas and the feeling that one is sailing a table across the ocean vs. the more fluid motion of a monohull.


Monohulls:


Ads:


Less expensive to buy and maintain


Possibly more seaworthy


Better windward ability


Disads:


More extreme motion at anchor and in weather


Slower than cats


Deep draught, (it appears that around 2 metres is the norm for a 40 foot boat, which limits access to shallows in some cruising areas. This is my biggest concern, but I am wondering if I am correct in believing this, not having had time to research the matter)


Less room for stowage and visitors


I would really appreciate comments, especially from those who have owned both types of craft.


Thanks in advance.......
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Old 11-05-2016, 04:44   #2
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Re: Choosing a boat

Hi PJ and welcome to the forum,

I have added some answers, comments, suggestions, questions and personal opinions below. However I highly suggest you spend a little time using the search function for this forum. Several of your questions have been discussed in GREAT length and you will find literally hours of reading on: mono vs multi, which boat is best for ??? and more.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbar View Post


As I see things the ads and disads of each type are:


Cats:


Have the room

More room for the same length boat but if you compare by price you will find that for the same dollars (or rands) you will get similar interior room for the same cost.


Are faster than monohulls

Well kind of. Once you fill a cat with all the food, water, tools, parts, people and more that you need for cruising the speed difference is still there but not as much as you might think.


Have shallow draught to enable one to enjoy shallow areas (How important is this aspect in the Pacific and Caribbean?)

Haven't done the Pacific but comments from all veterans is draft is almost never a concern there. Same for the Caribbean. Bahamas it can be a concern in places and much over 2 meters you can be limited in where you can go or anchor.


Are stable at anchor and upright at sea

True. I was anchored in a cat in a harbor with a bit of swell and we were totally comfortable. Meanwhile the monohull next to us was rolling so much they probably had to strap themselves in the bunks.


Are sufficiently seaworthy and any shortcomings can be mitigated by sailing away from nasty weather as they are faster and also having drogues/sea anchors on board will be added insurance.

Seaworthy is more a factor of the quality and design of the boat rather than mono or multi hull. One of the biggest factors is the quality of the captain and crew.


Their disads include price, poor windward sailing ability, marina costs (although I would want to spend most of the time on the hook away from crowds), awkward motion in rough seas and the feeling that one is sailing a table across the ocean vs. the more fluid motion of a monohull.

Again, more expensive per meter length but on square meter of living space prices are similar. NOTE: My opinion. The motion of cats at sea in rough conditions is to me a bit jerky and awkward. Monohulls may heel but the motion is smoother.


Monohulls:


Ads:


Less expensive to buy and maintain

Once again, only if you base just on length and not on square meters of living space


Possibly more seaworthy

Possibly in the ultimate, survival scale storm, but in any kind of weather most prudent sailors encounter either will get you through


Better windward ability

This in general is quite true but there are certainly monohulls that don't point all that well. A long, very shallow keel mono isn't so good to weather.


Disads:


More extreme motion at anchor and in weather

At anchor, yes. In weather, not necessarily so.


Slower than cats


Deep draught, (it appears that around 2 metres is the norm for a 40 foot boat, which limits access to shallows in some cruising areas. This is my biggest concern, but I am wondering if I am correct in believing this, not having had time to research the matter)

2 meters in a 40' boat is not unusual but I think deeper than average, at least around the US east coast and Florida. I have a 42' mono with a 1.6 meter draft which is pretty common.


Less room for stowage and visitors

Again, back to comparing by length vs sq meters.

I would really appreciate comments, especially from those who have owned both types of craft.


Thanks in advance........
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Old 11-05-2016, 06:06   #3
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Re: Choosing a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbar View Post
More extreme motion at anchor and in weather
I would not say that monohulls have "more extreme" motion. I would say that they have a "different kind" of motion.

I have owned both monohulls and catamarans. Personally I find the motion of a monohull to be more comfortable than that of a catamaran. More predictable, maybe. To me, a cat moves less with each shift, but the motion is faster and more abrupt. It's hard to explain, but, like I said, I find the motion of a monohull to be more comfortable.

Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 11-05-2016, 06:14   #4
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Re: Choosing a boat

Load carrying is always going to be an issue with a smaller liveaboard cat. Overloaded=slow and unseaworthy on a cat.

Mono's tend to handle extra weight more gracefully.

The two cruising cats I have sailed were no faster than an equivalent mono. But they were lovely platforms to live on.

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Old 11-05-2016, 06:24   #5
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Re: Choosing a boat

I assume there are very few sailboats of any hull configuration that can actually outrun a storm, I wouldn't count on it, sounds like a Salesman talking.
I've heard this on and off, but seemingly some pretty fast large power vessels get caught out, and you would think at 20 kts or so they could outrun a storm, but I guess couldn't.
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Old 11-05-2016, 07:06   #6
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Re: Choosing a boat

I find the heeling of a sailboat one of the larger negatives. To me it is an uncomfotable experience. Step on a line and you slip.

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